Any fundamentalists pastor worth his suit must write at least one book in his lifetime. It may be a treatise on how all the other fundamentalists but him have completely misinterpreted the significance of Elijah’s leather girdle. Or perhaps it will be a clarion call for fundamentalist tie-wearers to abandon the liberal Full Windsor knot in favor of the ancient landmark of the four-in-hand. If he’s a real scholar he may even make his topic “America in Bible Prophecy: Textual Proof That America Is The Left Foot Pinky Toe of Daniel’s Statue.”

The problem, of course, is that as inspired and well-written as these volumes may be, the unenlightened marketing people at a major publishing house just don’t recognize how vital they are for the salvation of true Christianity. This leaves the pastor with no choice but to round up enough money to buy a press and start his own printing ministry.

The seasons change and many thousands of dollars are spent on equipment and a building to house it. The part-time volunteer youth pastor is shipped off to school to learn how to run the press. The entire class of 3rd graders at the Academy are pressed into service as book binders as part of their school curriculum. No cost is spared and no tither’s arm left untwisted.

At long last the project is done and the church proudly gazes upon 5,000 copies of this masterwork. They really can’t avoid gazing at them, since the books have been been stored in the fellowship hall for the last three years while the pastor tries desperately to sell more than the six copies purchased by his mother. Even the table set up at the back of this year’s Bible conference brought few sales and more than a few muttered comments from backslidden church members about “having already paid for it once.”

The heart of men has waxed cold indeed when they won’t even bother to read what the man of God writes. But never fear, next year “Gog, Magog, and You” is going on the required reading list of every student in the academy and every preacher boy in the bible college. Between that and sending a copy to all the missionaries for Christmas, it is almost time for a second edition…

38 thoughts on “Self-publishing”

  1. My favorite is the stunningly popular “Sermon comp” books. They preach a series of sermons on who knows what and then they have them written out and then call that a book they’ve ‘written’. My favorite ‘sermon comp’ is the Salvation Crystal Clear by Curtis Hutson. So clear, in fact, that he had to ‘write’ two volumes.

  2. I went to a small fundy bunker college in some unnamed region of the world, which desperately tried to get rid of some books that one of its teachers wrote about the superiority of the Spanish RV1960 translation. Needless to say, I think they even ended up giving some of them away.

  3. That picture looks worryingly like my study. Plus, I love the ad for self-publishing that Google put up on the right! As for sermon comp books, they make a great deal of sense – it saves the pastor effort in writing the book.

    1. I think that bike is a huffy. That’s a worldly company. I can’ believe they would use that on the cover picture. For shame.

    2. Her class was required back when my husband and I were at HAC. He had the hardest time in her class. He couldn’t study for her tests or even take notes in class because she would just ramble and not follow any clear train of thought. She had her minions writing down every golden word she uttered, and then the test would be what she said with random words as blanks. If you didn’t write down her thoughts the same way as her girls did, you were out of luck. I can’t wait to tell him she has written a BOOK!

  4. I love how they can add the term exclusive to their books. Too bad they don’t add “because no one else would take it.”

  5. All the crazy self published nonsense books I’ve ever seen just make me smile knowing that the author most likely (hopefully?) never made the money he spent publishing the book back.

      1. I love the “click to enlarge” under the picture. Like there is a whole lot to see enlarged. What a joke.

  6. This isn’t a fundy school, but a nearby Christian school run by a delusional woman and her hubby features a particular book as required reading for the older grades. Guess who wrote it? Yep, the delusional woman. It’s a tome reciting the story of how God took a husband and wife and $250 dollars and founded the great school attended by the poor kid being forced to read the book. What it leaves out is that she started the school with a student list she filched from her previous employer while employed by them. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Oh, yes – years before that she was known to hand out a guide she self-published (and coil-bound) on child rearing. A smart person would look at her doofus dipstick of a son and through the booklet away. We were smart people. 🙂

    1. Math? Fundies don’t need math! Schaap was supposed to have preached an average of 3 sermons a day, according to some stats on the site years ago. Fudge the numbers for God and country, amen?

  7. The hard truth of the publishing world is that it’s pretty easy to print up books (thanks to Gutenberg et al), but really hard to market them, especially if you don’t put nekkid ladies or stuff blowing up on the cover.

    That’s true for the big publishing houses, and it’s even more true when you’re self-publishing.

    1. So is the word-to-picture relationship horizontal??? or Vertical???

      **Makes a difference dontcha know, exit stage left**

  8. And when the publishing “business” gets so profitable, the son-in-law-cum-printer has to hire an assistant who is, unbeknownst to the rest of the congregation, in the mob and who uses the publishing “business” as a money-laundering front.

    Good times.

    1. There’s a little hyperbole (as there is in most posts) but the general idea is pretty close to accurate.

      Not all churches end up buying their own press, but self-published books are rampant in fundamentalism.

  9. Every time a new pervert in a pulpit gets his backside nailed to the wall by the cops, somebody mentions SCHIZOPHRENIC CHRISTIANITY, and I sell about 2 dozen more copies to people who are tryign top figure out how they and their church ended up in this mess. Publish on demand can be more feasible than traditional self publishing, if you set up or go through a direct-to-Amazon publisher like I did. And being able to supply some answers to people who just had their eyes opened, at a low cost to them, is both a nice sideline and a good way to help them. All my profits go to funding the podcasts and Bible readings.

    1. As with most things I talk about here this piece was about misuse of self-publishing not its use in general.

      My mom self-published a book and won a prestigious award with it (she tied for first place with Gilbert Morris).

      My point here is people throwing tons of money into self-publishing books that are terrible simply because they’re the pastor and they think every word that dribbles out of their mouth is the next best thing to inspired.

      1. Um, one of my print on demand books won the prestigious, “This is the best coaster we ever had since Dad threw out the real coasters” Award. Just thought I’d add that…..

  10. ha they got me with that scam once my freshman year at the cult.. er i mean “college”.. i was attending. $200 down the drain and i never read them either, i just lied on the final.. haha sorry

  11. The worst thing about self-publishing is the typesetting. Horrible! I’ve seen books edited with galleys that didn’t remotely resemble the pages that they were replacing, and others with absolutely no sense of decent appearance.

    This seems to be a trend in neofundamentalism. It’s better to be Christian than to be professional.

    Hey, just like Fundy U.

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